Frank Lampard said he was pleased with his side’s spirit and impressed with the courage of his young stars after Everton defeated Celtic in the Sydney Super Cup.
Isaac Price played the full 90 minutes and Stanley Mills and Tom Cannon each made appearances – and volunteered for the shoot-out – as the Blues won 4-2 on penalties. The game had finished goalless but both sides created golden chances to win the match.
Everton are now set to face Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday but have emerged victorious in the competition after winning its headline game in front of more than 41,000 fans in the Accor Stadium.
Celtic had the best of the possession but the Blues created several good chances for Demarai Gray and Neal Maupay, the latter placing a lobbed effort just wide of Joe Hart’s goal when he was played through by Vitalii Mykolenko. Gray had three efforts deflected narrowly wide while Everton were also a threat at corners. At the other end captain Asmir Begovic made several important stops to deny Kyogo Furuhashi.
When it came to penalties the Blues raced into a 3-0 lead with Michael Keane, Cannon and Nathan Patterson all scoring. Mills’ miss almost allowed Celtic a chance to get back into the tie but Anthony Gordon then calmly slotted in the next spot kick to seal a 4-2 win.
After the game, Lampard praised the supporters who turned out for the match and other events around Everton’s presence in Australia. Of the performance, the boss pointed to injuries, jetlag and the heat as having an impact on his side’s performance. He said: “I thought it was a good game and in terms of the atmosphere in the stadium, the fans, the big thing when you come out here is you appreciate the size of Everton and Celtic and the Premier League. It’s nice to win a game, nice to win on penalties and nice to see young players want to stand up and take them… I’m really pleased with elements of the game. It was a tough game, we’ve got a bit of jetlag in our bodies still, Celtic were a bit more prepared on that front. I thought we showed a lot of spirit so happy.”
Lampard started with three centre-backs – Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and James Tarkowski. He said that was partly due to a lack of midfield options after Tom Davies suffered a knee injury in training. Lampard’s options worsened when Abdoulaye Doucoure suffered a knee injury and had to come off at half-time – as did Mina with a hamstring problem.
The Everton manager said: “I think a back five against a possession team, which is what Celtic are, it wasn’t the worst tactic for us today because of t…